This qualitative, ethnographically informed case-study examines how social, psychological, and organizational factors of a culture impact writing instruction and practice within an English Language Arts middle school class. In order to explore possible reasons for stagnant writing instruction in middle schools, two research questions guided this study: (RQ1) What do the components of writing instruction look like in one middle school class?, and (RQ2) How does one middle school ELA class exhibit identity distinction, writing development, and discourse surrounding writing instruction? I examined how one middle school class exhibits identity distinction among students and teachers within writing, development of writing, and discourse surrounding writing instruction and practice. Data were collected through observations, field notes, interviews, and cultural artifacts (i.e., lesson plans, student data, student work samples, and district curriculum) over a five week period for a total of 18 data collection days (16 of which were observations). Observations were conducted in one seventh grade teacher's class period and lesson planning meetings. The seventh grade teacher, students, and Testing Coordinator were interviewed for member checking sessions pertaining to observations and student work. Semi-structured interview verbatim transcripts were audio recorded and transcribed, after which the following themes emerged: understanding of writing instruction, understanding of writing workshop, confidence in students' writing abilities, establishing spaces for student engagement, feedback on student writing, and teacher and student identities. Also included are recommendations for establishing a positive writing culture through improved middle school writing instruction.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Learning Sciences and Educational Research
Curriculum and Instruction
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Zaidi, Misha, "An Ethnographically Informed Case Study Exploring the Culture of Writing Instruction in One Middle School English Language Arts Class" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1312.